Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
I took this class during the quarter coronavirus took finals online and we had a take home final. Everyone cheated and got very high scores so the professors solution was to curve everyone down. This meant our scores for midterms were essentially useless so since they are worth so little. This professor has poor judgement and ruins the grades for students who have studied hard all quarter and reward the cheaters.
Hlushchanka is easily the worst professor I have ever had. His lectures are completley unclear. He rushes through material and examples at an astonishing speed, brushing over details, expecting us to immediately absorb this information and be able to answer complex questions soon after. When students are inevitably unable to answer his questions, he seems to get annoyed. On the positive side, he does leave time for students to ask questions during class. unfortunalely, his answers are just as unclear as the rest of his lecture. Also, be prepared: if he doesn’t like yor question, he may simply refuse to answer it. His midterms are hard, although not impossible. On the other hand, his final exam was, simply put, unreasonable in terms of length and sheer difficulty. The textbook is dense, poorly written and unhelpful. Honestly, I don’t see the purpose in taking MATH33a with Hlushchanka. You’re not going to know any more about linear algebra after taking his class thanyou knew before.
Hlushchanka is overall a great professor, however you can get lost very easily during lectures if you do not prepare a little bit beforehand. With linear algebra being so conceptual, it really helps to watch videos like 3Blue1Brown's series before covering topics in class in order to have a general mental picture of what he is lecturing about. With a little bit of prep, Hlushchanka's lectures are very thorough. He does write and talk extremely fast (and with an Eastern European accent) so you have to get used to understanding him and keeping up. The midterms and final were all very similar to the homework problems, and the best way to prepare is to make sure you understand those problems and have a strong understanding of how all the concepts of linear algebra relate to each other. Overall it was a good class
Tests are essentially reworded homework questions and are easy if you study a bit. There are mandatory quizzes in discussion but no mandatory homework. The professor has a thick russian(?) accent and goes very fast, but his lectures are very useful if can follow along. If you do the homework seriously, the class should be fairly easy.
Prof Mikhail is a very good lecturer. His lectures are clear, and the pace is great. He always cares about his students and he is very patient with the questions. Exams are not hard, as for me, as long as you really understand the materials. There are quizzes each week in discussion sections, and the problems are derived from hw(at least very similar). I do not find discussion sections very helpful, but the worksheets are worth being done. If you want an A, go to his lectures and treat homework seriously. Overall, he is one of the best profs I've ever seen.
I read the textbook before lecture and went over roughly what was going to be covered that day, and I found this quite valuable since I had a rough idea of the topic and lecture just built on top of that. The concepts in 33A are really theoretical and can be hard to grasp, but that isn't the Professor's fault. Hlushchanka is a good lecturer if you really pay attention, and cares about students. He stops regularly to ask if there are any questions, and answers questions patiently and tries to use different ways to explain a problem so students REALLY get it. One complaint I've heard is that his accent is difficult to understand and he goes fast. I didn't find his accent to be a problem, but I agree with the latter part of that statement. He expects students to follow along at a rapid pace (especially with arithmetic, which I found difficult b/c I'm not a mental math God), but I found that he did this so he could spend more time on the difficult topics (like diagonalization and similarity).
Each week there was a quiz in section, and we were allowed to drop the lowest two quizzes. The key to doing well was practicing the homework problems (although they did not needed to be handed in) because often the quiz questions were based on or directly copied from homework questions.
Exam-wise, his midterms were arithmetically detailed and thorough, but quite fair. I took this class during the coronavirus quarter, so we had a open-book take-home final that we had a 24-hour window to complete and submit on GradeScope. Hlushchanka mentioned that the exam was meant to be at the difficulty level of a normal 3 - 3.5-hour final. However, this turned out to be a lie, which was the biggest downfall of the class. I started it as soon as the exam was sent out, and finished with no sleep the next day an hour before it was due. The average for the exam was really high (80%), so I don't think he curved the class at all. He set a hard lower boundary of 93% on an A. In the end, even though I'd done well in the rest of the class, I missed an A by 0.45%, but when I emailed him to round up my grade from 92.55% to 93%, he was really strict about the boundary, which I found a bit annoying.
Overall, Hlushchanka was a good professor for me. I think much of his poor reputation is because of the conceptual difficulty of the class itself. Having said this, as an international student, especially during this quarter, I wish he would relax his methods just a bit.
I wish I took this class with a different professor. Because of the online final, the grades for the final were extremely high which resulted in absolutely no curve in the class (not sure if it was curved down). I feel like I didn't even need to try the entire quarter which sucks because I did fine on both midterms and all the quizzes, and got a little above average on the final. I feel like I could have easily gotten an A- or even an A in the class but because of how heavily the final is weighted, and since too many people got high scores, the grade distribution was wack. I feel like he could have done a normal curve given the circumstances; it just seems unnecessarily harsh and it appears like he doesn't care about his students at all (even if he does). Also, I'd recommend previewing the textbook before coming to class, otherwise lecture is more mentally draining than rewarding because he goes fast and has an accent. Not the worst math professor I've encountered but I wouldn't go through it again.
Hluschanka’s lectures can be incredibly hard to follow. You have to do some outside preparations before lecture in order to not get horribly lost at times. The Midterms have a few problems where you either get all the points or none of it (such as two yes or no problems being worth the same as a very long calculation part).
As for the final, coronavirus forced us to take a take home final, and this test was super difficult and took the entire day to complete
I don’t understand what the previous reviewer is complaining about though. The person with an A- as the final grade is complaining about a downcurve to a final with an average of 80 percent (which is around the same distribution as the two midterms).
1. His East-European accent is not hard to understand.
2. His lectures are dry (he's never funny) and kind of useless: you can get away with going through the textbook and doing the recommended homework problems.
3. The weekly quiz system is a good replacement for homework: they're easy and they help you figure out if you understand the material.
4. The final was take-home because of coronavirus and it was actual garbage. People cheated to get high scores (he told us no internet and mathematica/matlab), so the marking rubic was bullshit: it stripped marks for ridiculous reasons. I got 95% and 100% on the midterms, and full in all but two quizes (and he drops the lowest two). On the final I got just above 70/87 and finished with a B+.
If you are good at math this class will be fun, if not you will hate him. In lecture he does abstract proofs, but has awful handwriting and is hard to understand so many students get lost, however if you can follow him you learn a lot. Grading is weekly quizzes (easy, but you must go to discussion), 2 midterms, and a final. Nice dude will drop one of your midterms is you do poor one and just weight the final more. Although he does lots of proofs in class, the test are all computational. Get used to add/sub and mult/divide numbers in your head very fast. Best way to prepare for test is by doing lots of practice problems. Use the online bruin test bank. He doesn't pass back midterms or finals so you can't get a hold of old copies, but studying other professors midterms was very helpful. Test averages tend to be around 78% for midterms and final so little to no curve you need to do well on the test.
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